Monday, October 29, 2007

Edward Bernays--Father of Public Relations

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."-Edward Bernays, Propaganda

"A seminal and controversial figure in the history of political thought and public relations, Edward Bernays (1891–1995), pioneered the scientific technique of shaping and manipulating public opinion, which he famously dubbed "engineering of consent." During World War I, he was an integral part of the U.S. Committee on Public Information (CPI), a powerful propaganda apparatus that was mobilized to package, advertise and sell the war to the American people as one that would "Make the World Safe for Democracy." The CPI would become the blueprint in which marketing strategies for future wars would be based upon.

Bernays applied the techniques he had learned in the CPI and, incorporating some of the ideas of Walter Lipmann, became an outspoken proponent of propaganda as a tool for democratic and corporate manipulation of the population. His 1928 bombshell Propaganda lays out his eerily prescient vision for using propaganda to regiment the collective mind in a variety of areas, including government, politics, art, science and education. To read this book today is to frightfully comprehend what our contemporary institutions of government and business have become in regards to organized manipulation of the masses."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Entoptic Graphomania

Entoptic Graphomania is a surrealist and automatic method of drawing in which dots are made at the sites of impurities in a blank sheet of paper, and lines are then made between the dots. The method was invented by Dolfi Trost, a Romanian surrealist, in his book "Vision dans le cristal. Oniromancie obsessionelle. Et neuf graphomanies entoptiques" in 1945.

Project for New American Century

Project for New American Century is a Neoconservative think tank, formed in 1997, whose members include such notable spearheads of the Bush administration such as Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld. Their mission statement already announced the idea of America with "a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States' global responsibilities."
It also introduces the idea of preemptive war " is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire."
Many suggestions put forward to President Clinton at the time were largely left without implementation. These ideas had sinister consequences as their authors went on to become the subsequent president's elite officials.
Conspiracy theorists can look into their published report/manifesto for the new century ("Rebuilding America's Defenses", released September 2000) as it states the requirement for America to transform its national security strategy, military missions, and defense budgets, also experiment with new technologies, which would require a massive financial strain. They also understood the difficulty of gaining such consent, unless...
"Further, the process of transformation,
even if it brings revolutionary change, is
likely to be a long one, absent some
catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a
new Pearl Harbor.
Project for New American Century

National Library of Belarus

in Minsk

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Racism - LOLz galore

Check this article bout Dr James Watson, a Nobel Prize winner for his contribution in the discovery of the structure of DNA, said in an interview to the Sunday Times:
"The 79-year-old geneticist said he was 'inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa' because 'all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really.'. He said he hoped that everyone was equal, but countered that 'people who have to deal with black employees find this not true'."
But what's more amazing was as I was ready to join the universal response of ridicule to this deeply racist claim I soon found out that the response was hardly universal. check out the comments left on this article:
Black People "less intelligent" scientist claims
here's one gem:
"It is quite possible that black people aren't as intelligent than us. But have you ever seen them dance ? Whenever I see their happy smiling faces with their big white teeth and hear their jovial singsong voices, I really wonder. OK, maybe statistically we are more intelligent, but they seem quite unconcerned about it.
Major Eric Coombes, Tunbridge Wells, England"

Monday, October 15, 2007

80 blocks from Tiffany's

A documentary on late 70's New York gangs, directed by Gary Weis, focusing on the Savage Nomads and the Savage Skulls who were the last remains of the infamous South Bronx gangs. It's an interesting insight into uptown New York before the general gentrification, and it's an intimate look at a sub-culture(?) that became widely caricatured by films such as The Warriors, and other such stereotypes. It still feels exploitative (despite arguments of the contrary) but definitely worth looking into.

here's the first 15 minutes:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain is the work of Leonard Knight who dedicated 17 years of his life building a monument to Jesus with the simple message "God is Love". Salvation Mountain is located in the lower desert of Southern California in Imperial County just east of the Salton Sea and about a hour and a half from Palm Springs.
Leonard Knight began his crusade by trying to single-handedly sew and fly a gigantic hot air balloon in dedication to his love for Jesus. One fall, the first snow came quickly, before Knight had a chance to pack up the balloon (which he sewed year round and daily attempted to get off the ground), and so the balloon had to be left out all winter. When Knight traveled to Slab City and restarted his attempts to launch the balloon, he found it had rotted. That's when he decided to build salvation mountain.
Salvation Mountain

Kure Kure Takora

Kure Kure Takora (クレクレタコラ, "Gimme Gimme Octopus") is a tokusatsu children's comedy show from Japan. Produced by Toho Company Ltd., the show aired on Fuji TV and its subsidiaries from October 1, 1973 to September 27, 1974 with a total of 260 episodes.
TAKORA, a central character coveted for everything saying "KURE! (I want it)" all the time. Each episode was absurd, strange, surreal, indescribable, and ran 3 minutes

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Freedom of Information Act

Want to know what is going on behind the closed doors
of the US government?

"Enacted in 1966, The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law that establishes the public's right to obtain information from federal government agencies. The FOIA is codified at 5 U.S.C. Section 552. "Any person" can file a FOIA request, including U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, organizations, associations, and universities. In 1974, after the Watergate scandal, the Act was amended to force greater agency compliance. It was also amended in 1996 to allow for greater access to electronic information."

-National Security Archive

View National Security Archive documents online

Monday, October 8, 2007

New York Review Books

NYRB publishes the most choice titles, reintroducing remarkable books that have fallen out of print or merely out of sight in recent years. Its eclectic collection ranges from the fictional such as Alberto Moravia's Contempt, the factual such as The Moro affair by Leonardo Sciascia, to the critical such as The Crisis of The Negro Intellectual by Harold W. Cruse; all of them of outstanding quality, and outstandingly printed on beautiful paperback, meticulously chosen paper stock and typeface.
They're available in yr Borders n Waterstones, etc, but usually the smaller independent bookshops in the States would have a collection of them laid out on a table of their own and you'll stand there wanting to clear out the part of yr brain currently subjugated by TV episodes to make room for this wealth of beautiful knowledge:

New York Review Books

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Global Dimming

To make the issue of global warming a little more complicated, here's global dimming .
The theory shows that "aerosols and other particulates absorb solar energy and reflect sunlight back into space" which has helped neutralise the effects of greenhouse gases/global warming. It is therefore argued that reducing global pollution rapidly could in fact trigger a vast increase in global temperature. According to Beate Liepert, "We lived in a global warming plus a global dimming world and now we are taking out global dimming. So we end up with the global warming world, which will be much worse than we thought it will be, much hotter..."

If yr not a reader: watch it here

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Emile Cohl

Fantasmagorie (the first animated cartoon - on film)

Max Fleischer

Somewhere in Dreamland

Koko's Haunted House

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

BURMA: Guitars of the Golden Triangle

This coupla tracks were products of Shan and Pa'o musicians in 70's Burma. They were recorded on reel to reel tapes in makeshift studios of Shan State in Northeast Burma's legendary/notorious Golden Triangle, historically an area of bandits, opium warlords, and guerrilla fighters seeking independence from the Central Government.

These tracks were compiled lovingly by Alan Bishop from surviving Burmese cassette tapes. Most cassettes in Burma are public domain and endlessly copied for sale. Most shops will create them on the spot for you as full length dubs or individual tracks of your choice IF you know what you want and they have the master.

Sublime Frequencies

Tom James Scott

Tom James Scott is our dear friend, an extremely gifted guitarist, all round awesome musician, sound artist, n great card player.
his first release on Bo Weavil is coming out real soon.
this is a little bio from Bo Weavil :
"Tom James Scott is a young classically trained guitarist, a mainstay of the improvising collective CYRK. Tom's influences stretch far and wide, touching upon aspects of traditional music, improvisation, vocal music, composition, and field recording to name but a few. These 5 slices of acoustic alchemy are well formed compositions for acoustic guitar, where the wealth of folk guitar has been distilled through a minimalist mind set to create some of the most beautiful elemental melodic lines that take the listener on a journey of meditative contemplation."

n here's an excerpt...

Tony Oursler

Monday, October 1, 2007